Originally Posted by VVV
Thanks for your comments.
I agree with your way to differ the Coteng from the Tajong but after reading Spirit of Wood I am confused. Do you have the book?
The Tajong 1 in their evolution of Hulu Tajong is just like a Coteng, even called Tajong 1 Hulu Coteng, but still is described as a Tajong.
On the blade I also agree but can assure you that I at least haven't fiddled with it.
It fits perfect in the scabbard so if some exchage has been done maybe it's a change of only the hilt?
But in this interesting thread I noticed a Coteng (DA Henkel's) that have a similar blade as mine?
So maybe it could be original?
Yes I have the spirit of wood book. The tajong and coteng are very closely related. It is almost certain that they arose from the same original form, but for some reason evolved differently. The coteng form would seem to be the more primitive form. I think it really depends on how one wants to classify such hilts. I know there are people who consider cotengs a form of tajong. Well, I'd just leave it as 'they're closely related'. I can't say much about the dating except that there's a lot of guess-work and gut feel in those.
Blade-wise, the old cotengs do not have pandai saras blades. Dave's blade is not a pandai saras. Its a form of bahari blade. Note that it has no kembang kacang, and does not have the diamond profile that extends through the ganja. And yes, bahari is the other form of blade found in cotengs.
Your sheath form is the same as Paul's example (the ivory hilted one with the broken nose). Your sheath has suffered some damage to the dauns (the 'leaves' at both end to the sheath), but it is still in quite good condition.
The cotengs are found in the Songkhla/Singora area in present day southern Thailand. They are generally found in areas North of where Tajongs would be found. Crudely speaking, North yields more cotengs, South yields more tajongs. It's not a very big area, hence making cotengs one of the rarest keris forms around. There are quite a fair bit of variation in blade and sheath forms that are not properly documented, so we are quite 'in the dark'. The amount of variations almost suggest that each district may have a slightly different form of the keris.
And finally, yes, your coteng could be original. At any rate, please maintain it well for posterity! Remember to use wood oil (with oil like "Old English") a few times a year, and clean the blade with light neutral oil (wipe the blade dry of the oil). Sorry for nagging, but you are in possession of a very rare specimen (even amongst the rare cotengs).